Though the Vikings may have found this game rather amusing way back during medieval times, that doesn’t mean it has lost its fun and appeal. Based on the medieval board game, Hnefatafl, Tablut by Continental Laboratories presents users with a simple, entertaining pastime requiring the kind of thought-inducing strategy most of today’s games seriously lack.
This intuitive board game begins with two opposing teams: the Attackers and the Defenders. With 10 available difficulties, users of any level will find Tablut to be a great fit. The center square represents the King’s Throne, occupied by the Defender’s King himself. The board is adorned with eight Defenders surrounding the King in the shape of a cross, while 16 Attackers are arranged in T-shaped groups around the edges of the board at their base camps. Users can choose from a vast collection of different themes, customizing the appearance of their boards and pieces. The Defenders win the game by getting the King to the edge of the board (excluding base camps), while Attackers win if they capture the King.
As you play, pieces may be captured if trapped between two pieces belonging to the opposing side, though users can safely move into an open spot between two enemy pieces already in position. Once the King dethrones in his attempt to escape, he may never return to his throne’s square, just as Attackers may never return to their base camp spaces.
Of course, there are many other tips and stipulations listed under Instructions that will help users improve their gaming, certainly making this section worth at least a quick perusal. However, for some, the Instructions may appear rather long and daunting. (Guilty party right here.) But you know a game has a promising future when you can dive right in without knowing the rules and still win on your first try. Tablut will please even the least patient of gamers.
Tablut [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.1.3 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.